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The Pittsburgh Pirates were an American professional ice hockey team in the National Hockey League (NHL) from 1925–26 to 1929–30. The nickname comes from the baseball team also based in the city.

For the 1930–31 season, the team moved to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and played one season as the Philadelphia Quakers.

Franchise History

Early Years

The Inaugural Season

1926 to 1928

The Decline of the Team


Historic Firsts

  • Odie Cleghorn, the Pirates' coach (and occasional player) for the first four seasons, was the first NHL coach to change his players on the fly. This article from the December 21, 1925, Pittsburgh Press described how Cleghorn would change the forward line halfway through each period with another set of attackers, who would play for "six or eight minutes". The first line would then come back on to finish the period. The defencemen were not changed.
  • Cleghorn was also the first coach to use three set forward lines which was a huge change from the standard which was to simply leave the best players out for as long as possible.
  • The Pirates set an NHL record in salaries by signing defenceman Lionel Conacher to a three-year deal worth $7,500 a year. Conacher was later named Canada's athlete of the half-century.
  • On December 26, 1926 the Pirates and the New York Americans combined for a still standing NHL record for most shots in one game. The two teams combined for 141 shots in a 3–1 New York win. Roy Worters made 70 saves for the Pirates and Jake Forbes made 67 saves for the Americans. That is a record that still stands today.
  • The Pirates were the first team in Pittsburgh to use the black & gold color scheme. An article dated December 21, 1925, from the Pittsburgh Press referred to the Pirates as "the Black and Gold".

Hall of Famers

  • Lionel Conacher
  • Frank Fredrickson
  • Mickey MacKay
  • Roy Worters

Olympic Winners


1920 Olympic Games in Antwerp, Belgium

  • Frank Frederickson won a gold medal with the Canadian national hockey team
  • Herb Drury won a silver medal with the American national hockey team


1924 Olympic Games in Chamonix, France

  • Bert McCaffrey won a gold medal with the Canadian national hockey team
  • Herb Drury won a silver medal with the American national hockey team

Season-By-Season Record

Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against, PIM = Penalties in minutes

Season GP W L T Pts GF GA PIM Finish Playoffs
1925–26 36 19 16 1 39 82 70 264 third in NHL Lost Semifinals (Montreal) 6-4
1926–27 44 15 26 3 33 79 108 230 fourth in American Out of Playoffs
1927–28 44 19 17 8 46 67 76 395 third in American Lost Semifinals (New York) 6-4
1928–29 44 9 27 8 26 46 80 324 fourth in American Out of Playoffs
1929–30 44 5 36 3 13 102 185 384 fifth in American Out of Playoffs
Totals 212 67 122 23 157 376 519 1597